Author: Matsuo Watanabe.
Watanabe, Matsuo. 2008. "Japan’s Foreign Aid Policy in Transition: An Interpretation of TICAD IV." Japan aktuell 3 7-27.
As the host of two important international conferences, the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) and the G8 summit, Japan has had an unrepeatable diplomatic opportunity this year. The outcome of TICAD IV suggests that Japan’s aid policy for Africa is changing from being conformist with international norms to being autonomous and resultorientated, looking to the interests of client countries and Japan more explicitly. As Africa is becoming increasingly important politically and economically, the Japanese government appears determined to mobilise its main diplomatic tool, ofﬁcial development assistance, to create closer ties with the continent. The shift can be interpreted in the context of the changing environment in diplomacy. The series of diplomatic setbacks and the declining role of the US as the anchor of the international political economy no longer allow for the sole dependency on US hegemony for securing Japan’s interests; Japan needs to manoeuvre to pursue its interests on its own within the global order.